Looking for a way to make money while traveling? Consider a summer camp counseling job in the United States! Working as a counselor at the best summer camps in the US can fill your days with new activities, friends, and the opportunity to earn money and develop work experience. You can participate in activities like camping, sports, and swimming, all while building important life skills.
At AmeriCamp, we've partnered with the best summer camps across the United States. While the thought of traveling abroad might seem difficult at first, we’ll pair you with a specialist team to help you every step of the way on your camp counselor contract so you can focus on your amazing summer. From the application process to preparing to travel abroad, we make the process as simple and easy as possible.
In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know about how to find the best summer camp counselor job for you, how to apply to it, and how to get ready for the best summer of your life!
About AmeriCamp Summer Camp Counselor Jobs
Camp counselor job types can vary depending on the camp you’re paired with, along with the activities that are offered. Every AmeriCamp affiliated summer camp has its own unique experience, guaranteed to fill your summer with fun and excitement.
Summer Camp Counseling Jobs and What to Expect
Camp counselors are the foundation of their summer camps, and act as role models for their campers. Generally, summer camp counselors are expected to take care of a few basic responsibilities around their camps, including:
- Leading and participating in camp activities
- Setting up and dismantling camp equipment
- Assisting with breakfast, lunch, and dinner
- Watching over and guiding campers
If you have a specific skillset, like experience with the outdoors, a sport, or arts, you may qualify to fill a specialist counselor position. Specialist counselors are normally in charge of a single activity for the entire camp, while camp counselors can be expected to participate in other activities and assist with different parts of camp.
Getting Paid as a Summer Camp Counselor
When you work with AmeriCamp as a summer camp counselor, you’ll make a minimum of $2000 during your counselor contract. If you choose to come back after your program ends, you can even negotiate a higher salary with your camp! As your sponsor, we’ll also:
- Cover your meals and accommodation
- Sponsor the J-1 visa you need to qualify for the camp counselor program
- Provide you with health insurance for your entire camp contract
Camp Counselor Support With AmeriCamp
While the thought of applying for an overseas job can seem complicated at first, we make it as stress free as possible! Your AmeriCamp team will assist you with your application, J-1 visa, your interview, and even preparing for your trip.
Camp counselors also have access to a 24-hour emergency hotline in case you experience any issues during your camp placement in the United States.
What to Look for in a Summer Camp Counseling Job
Camp counselor jobs give you the opportunity to work, build experience, and have fun while doing it. When looking for a summer camp counseling job, consider the other things it can offer you, like the chance for self improvement and forming new connections.
As a summer camp counselor with AmeriCamp, you’ll have the chance to do all that, and more!
Camp Counseling Gives You a Chance to Work on Yourself
Working as a summer camp counselor with AmeriCamp gives you the chance to increase your self confidence by working and learning new things. You’ll be able to challenge yourself by becoming a role model, and seeking and achieving self growth. By looking after your campers, you’ll learn to work on things like:
- Self awareness
- Your strengths
- Your weaknesses
Keeping up with your campers will help you remain active, and improve your health and wellness too! While you teach and participate in activities, you’ll also have the chance to stay mobile and connect with nature.
Building Work Experience As a Camp Counselor
As a camp counselor, you’re going to build transferable skills that you can apply to your future or current career path. As a counselor leading and teaching campers, you’ll naturally build better communication skills, and develop leadership experience. Skills you might also gain as a camp counselor are
Camp counseling also looks great on your resume; you learn and can list skills like leadership, adaptability, organization and international work experience on your resume after working as an AmeriCamp camp counselor!
Traveling and Making New Friends as a Camp Counselor
Our international camp counselor program connects both counselors and campers from around the world. At an AmeriCamp summer camp in the United States, you’ll meet all sorts of people from different walks of life, and experience different cultures. You’ll develop long-lasting friendships, and make memories to last a lifetime.
Interested in traveling while you’re in America? Once your camp contract ends, you’ll also have a 30-day window to travel anywhere you’d like in the United States!
The Best Summer Camp Counselor Jobs in the U.S.
With over 900 amazing summer camps across the United States, AmeriCamp works closely with you and our team of specialists to find the perfect fit. Each of the camps we work with are unique, and offer a variety of fun activities that make for an exciting summer!
About AmeriCamp Summer Camps
When you work at an AmeriCamp summer camp as a camp counselor, your days will be packed with different events, games, and sports. The types of activities will vary depending on the type of camp you’re placed at, and each camp will have its own special schedule and programming.
Some popular types of American summer camps you may experience include:
- Themed summer camps: camps centered around a specific activity, like horseback riding or sports
- Day camps: camps that do not offer overnight stays, and are only open during daylight hours
- Religious camps: camps that are based on a religious philosophy or focus on one specific religion
- Special Needs Camps: Camps that are dedicated to adults or children who have disabilities
Something else to keep in mind is that American summer camps are located all around the U.S. in both rural areas and within cities, which may also decide what sort of responsibilities you have, or activities you’ll lead. Jobs as a camp counselor are also generally seasonal, and your schedule can depend on camp type, like a day camp counselor job compared to an overnight camp counselor job.
Activities You’ll Experience as a Camp Counselor
Besides the type of camp, the variety of activities offered at your camp placement will also vary on location. For example, at a waterfront summer camp with a river, beach, or lake, activities related to water sports may be offered, like:
- Water skiing
- Water polo
There are also traditional activities that take place at most American summer camps. You may have seen these on TV shows or in movies, and these activities might include:
- Arts and Crafts
- Scavenger hunts
- Team sports
- Outdoor cooking like smores over a campfire
No matter the location, your camp placement will give you the opportunity to take part in exciting games, sports, and events with your campers!
How to Apply to a Camp Counselor Job with AmeriCamp
Finishing your camp counselor application takes around 1 hour, and the whole program application and placement process can be broken down into 4 easy steps:
- Your application
- Obtaining a J-1 visa
- Your camp placement and interview
- Understanding your program costs and fees
Program Qualifications and your Application
To become a summer camp counselor with AmeriCamp, you need to:
- Be free of criminal history
- Be 18 or older by May 1st of your summer program year
- Be proficient in spoken English
- Be able to interact with and supervise American children
Along with those qualifications, you need to share your medical history, give us a local background check, and any references or certifications that might relate to camp counseling. AmeriCamp applicants applying specifically from the UK can apply here.
Your application functions as a pre-interview, and once it’s finished, your camp placement process will begin. You'll be on your way to the best summer of your life!
Your J-1 Visa
As mentioned before, in order to qualify for our camp counselor program and travel to the United States to work at your camp, you’ll need a J-1 visa.
A J-1 visa, also known as the Exchange Visitor Visa, is a nonimmigrant visa specifically for foreign nationals who want to participate in a cultural exchange program. In order to qualify for a J-1 visa, you’ll need:
- Your personal information
- A copy of your resume or CV
- Your passport
- To attend an interview with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country
While this may seem like a lot to process, with AmeriCamp as your sponsor, we’ll make the process as stress-free and simple as possible, so you can focus on getting ready for your amazing summer as a camp counselor!
Camp Placement and Interview
Once your application is finished, we’ll send it to our network of summer camps. To get the best possible fit, our placement specialists and camp directors sort through applications to pair counselors with their camps.
Once a match is made, it’s possible that your potential camp director will reach out for an interview. While a job interview might inspire a little anxiety, not to worry! Your AmeriCamp team is here to support you through your entire camp counselor journey, interview prep included.
Have additional questions about our placement and interview process? Check out our FAQ!
Program Costs and Fees
As a summer camp counselor with AmeriCamp, your program costs will cover:
- Medical insurance for your entire counselor placement
- All meals and accommodation
- Your application
- Interview fee
It’s important to note that your AmeriCamp partner representatives determine your actual fees. These can change by country, market, exchange rate and the level of services your AmeriCamp team provides.
Your program costs and fees do not cover:
- Your flights
- Medical background check
- Criminal background check
- US Embassy fee
How to Prepare for your Camp Counselor Job
Getting Ready to Travel Abroad
Traveling abroad for your summer job can feel a little overwhelming at first. With AmeriCamp, that’s not the case! Your specialist team will send you quotes for your flight, and help with booking to ensure that you get the best rate.
Your 24 hour support helpline can also be used to change any flights in the event of an emergency.
Packing and your Pre-Departure Orientation
While you should be sure to adhere to TSA rules when it comes to your luggage, here are some things that would be useful to pack for your summer at camp!
- Comfortable clothes
- Extra socks
Keep in mind, things like sunscreen, shampoo, and other toiletry items need to follow TSA regulations, or you might be asked to discard them when flying to the U.S.
Before you leave for your amazing summer, you’ll attend an AmeriCamp pre-departure orientation to be sure that you’re ready for your trip!
Become a Summer Camp Counselor at one of the Best Camps in the USA with AmeriCamp
Working as a summer camp counselor in America is the adventure of a lifetime. You’ll make lasting friendships, learn about new cultures and traditions, earn money and develop important life skills. It’s a great way to travel internationally and see part of the world, and you’ll leave camp with confidence and work experience you can apply to future careers.
If you’re interested in working as a camp counselor with AmeriCamp and having an amazing summer, get started on your application here! If you have any questions or want to reach out, you can contact us here.